Zen and the Art of Fair Preparation

It's two days away from my first in-person Toronto Outdoor Art Fair. Eek!

My studio is a mess, I keep stepping on bubble wrap and tape. Nonetheless, I feel ready, though I'm nervous.

I've been trying my best to remain calm this week. Do the box breathing, get enough sleep, and forgo the HIIT sessions in case I injure myself. I'll be on my feet a lot for the three days. (#TOAF63 is July 12–14, 2024)

In times like these, when I'm a bit nervous about something, I have a quote that helps calm me. The quote has followed me for most of my life. Although I no longer remember the book, I found it in the Japanese Government Docs section at the McLaughlin Library, where I worked while attending the University of Guelph (1997–2001).

Here is a page from my sketchbook (because it was before smartphones), where I drew the calligraphy and documented the meaning. I wanted to share this quote with you, in case it resonates with you as well:

Page from my sketchbook of 14th Century Buddhist quote.
"When the mind is clear, free from all concerns, then, in this state of complete emptiness, will the truth appear."
– Passage from the Buddhist text Kongō Hanna Haramitsuta Kyō
by Ichizan Ichinei, 14th century

So, as I wrap up my preparations and try to calm my nerves, I'm holding onto this quote. It's been my anchor through many challenges, and I hope it might offer you some comfort too. If you're planning to visit #TOAF63, come say hi! I'll be in Zone A, Booth 98, surrounded by art and probably still picking tape off my shoes. See you there!*

Toronto Outdoor Art Fair 2024 graphic
*Can’t make it? No problem. View my and over 300+ artist’s work from now until next year at TOAF.ca 
Visit my Toronto Outdoor Art Fair Gallery here: toaf.ca/gallery/raquel-aurini

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